Houston Spitfire

Profile picture for user LesB

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 758

Hi A friend in Taxus has visited with an enthusiast who is restoring a Mk IX Spitfire. Brief details are :
Raybourne Thompson owns the Spitfire and several other aircraft. He was most gracious and spent over four hours with my friend Dennis and I. He went over the complete history of the Mk IX Spit, 5AK, which was manufactured at Castle Bromwich in 1944, and saw service in the D-day landings. The aircraft then was flown by the French on 329 Sqd, and later by the Dutch Air Force. It ended up as a 'Gate Keeper' mounted on a concrete pedestal at a Dutch airbase. It was in very poor condition and had to be completely rebuilt. I have never seen such great restoration and craftsmanship. He spent 8 years on the restoration, placing every part in jigs, before disassembling and making new parts. It has a Packard built R-R Merlin, of the type used by P-51s. The Spit has a date with the paint shop at the end of this month, and he plans to put about 4 hours flight time on it before flying it to be painted. It is to be painted in the D Day markings.
Anything known about this Spit? Serial? Specific history? etc. I believe that as it has a Packard Merlin it is actually a Spitfire XVI, is this right?
Original post

Member for

16 years 2 months

Posts: 315

Re: Houston Spitfire
Originally posted by LesB Hi A friend in Texas has visited with an enthusiast who is restoring a Mk IX Spitfire. Brief details are : Anything known about this Spit? Serial? Specific history? etc. I believe that as it has a Packard Merlin it is actually a Spitfire XVI, is this right?
Hello LesB, Raybourne Thompson's Spitfire is actually a LF Mk.IXc. She is registered as N959RT. She flew with the 302, 329 and 165 Sqn during the war. D-DAY and MARKET GARDEN veteran. Later sold to the Royal Netherlands Air Force and acquired in 1994 by its present owner. MK959
Profile picture for user warbirdUK

Member for

16 years 2 months

Posts: 308

I believe this was the other one of the two in Holland, there was a toss up as to which airframe was re-built & MK732 won, Airframe Assemblies Ltd have built several components for It. I also believe It was owned by Jac Van Egmond & Rudi Krence (not sure of the spelling!) before being shipped to the US, I understand that the proceeds of the sale part funded the restoration of MK732 G-HVDM which Jac & Rudi still part owned when It made its first flights in 1993.